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Progression & Regression in Rushing Touchdowns in 2024

Touchdowns are hard to predict in fantasy football, but here are some players who will see some progression and regression in that touchdown department.

Touchdowns are tricky to account for in fantasy football. It’s not an easy stat to repeat from the following season to the next. We will look at running backs who have a chance to regress or improve on their touchdown marks in 2024.

Rushing TDs


There are a few running backs who should leap in rushing touchdowns in 2024. Zamir White, who had only one in 2023, should make a jump this season. Granted, he didn’t play a whole bunch, but his moving into the starting role for the Raiders should see a big jump. Josh Jacobs had at least six rushing touchdowns each season as a Raiders, so White should be able to clear that as the workhorse back. Jaleel McLaughlin is a real sleeper in the mix, who also only scored once last season. McLaughlin is currently standing out in mini-camps and could be a threat to this backfield. While they may not be red zone looks, Mclaughlin has the speed to break big runs. Last year, he was ranked 13th in breakaway run rate on his limited opportunity. An expanded role could lead to more explosive plays.

CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 26: Buffalo Bills running back James Cook (4) runs with the football in action during a preseason game between the Buffalo Bills and the Chicago Bears on August 26, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

James Cook should be another running back who could see a jump in touchdowns. Cook was sniped by Josh Allen too often, who had 15 rushing touchdowns. Allen had averaged for years around eight rushing touchdowns. Twelve of Allen’s touchdowns came within the 10-yard line. If the team realizes that they can’t continuously keep putting Allen in dangerous situations, then Cook could have more chances. While Allen will be a threat, Cook should see his touchdowns rise from two to at least six plus this season.

Two veterans should see an increase in touchdowns, Zeke Elliott and Saquon Barkley. Elliott is back with the Cowboys, who lack an elite running back, and Tony Pollard is gone. Elliott should remain as the starting running back after only having to beat out Rico Dowdle. Elliot had no less than six rushing touchdowns in any season as a Cowboy. The team must use him in the red zone to pound in the football. Barkley joins an Eagles team who had 22 rushing touchdowns in 2023. Barkley is a bigger back than DeAndre Swift. The tush push plays may come down with Jason Kelce now gone, allowing Barkley to get that short area runs instead. Barkley has never been with a team with an elite offense, and his six touchdowns in 2023 could shoot up to double digits for this year.


Since 2014, there have been 37 running backs with double-digit touchdown seasons. Of those 37 backs, 15 have done it multiple times in that timeframe. Seven of those 15 running backs had digit double touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. It’s already such a low output for running backs to sustain a high touchdown mark, especially double digits. There is an 11.5% chance a running back hits double digits. That drops down to 2% to do it back-to-back seasons. 

You should expect some players with high rushing touchdowns to come back down a lot from last year. Raheem Mostert is an obvious candidate to see his touchdowns come down. He had 18 rushing touchdowns; I don’t expect that to happen again. Mostert’s backfield is getting even more split with DeVon Achane improving and Jaylen Wright on the team. Over the prior two years, the rushing touchdown leader failed to get anywhere close to their previous mark in the following season. Mostert managed to stay healthy for once in his career but he is getting up there in age.

Gus Edwards is another one who could see a regression, but I could be wrong on this. He had 13 rushing touchdowns in 2023 in a strong run-first offense. He stays in that situation with the Chargers, who want to run the ball well. Edwards had less competition for the ball in Baltimore than he may in LA. JK Dobbins joined, and the team drafted Kimani Vidal to the roster. Edwards has always been a low-touchdown player, and this Chargers offense doesn’t seem as strong as it once was. This could force the offense to see more field goal situations in 2024. Don’t forget that Edwards is already dealing with an injury this offseason. 

CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 25: Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams (23) carries the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 25, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

Two other star running backs, Kyren Williams and Travis Etienne, could be in trouble in 2024. Williams came on the spot with 11 rushing touchdowns. It was fantastic to see how well Williams played last year. He is already dealing with a foot injury, which I actively try to avoid in players. The team drafted a mini bulldozer in Blake Corum, who should get the opportunity to be used in the red zone of this offense in 2024. Travis Etienne is in a similar boat where the team actively discusses giving him less work to stay fresher on the field. You should expect Tank Bigsby to see more work going into year two. Bigsby is a bigger back and should see more than nine carries in the red zone next year. Especially with the passing game seeing an improvement, which could take away from the run game 

Chance to Repeat

A few running backs have a chance to repeat their success in touchdowns in 2024. The two are Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey. Derrick Henry has been on a six-year run with high touchdown totals. He even has gone five straight years with double-digit rushing touchdowns. He is going from an offense that hasn’t been all that good and only ran through Henry. Now, with the Ravens, Henry is joining a backfield that allowed last year’s starter, Gus Edwards, to finish with 13 touchdowns. Henry’s offensive line in the previous two years has not been very good, so there is a slight upgrade to the position. Henry will see a boost in the backfield with Lamar Jackson. Imagine trying to figure out which one to cover on a run defense. Henry has a great chance in a still-run first offense to produce big again. 

Christian McCaffrey is in a similar situation to last year. The offense didn’t change; if anything, the team may be forced to lean on CMC to produce. If Brandon Aiyuk is traded, then the talent level in the passing game will drop a bit. There is a concern in the back of my mind with the Madden Curse and that he likely will be the 1.01 in redraft leagues. Those usually don’t end well for the player in that position. The team may also expect Elijah Mitchell to see more work since he was hurt most of last year. McCaffrey is a different type of beast, and he may only need half a season to produce double-digit rushing touchdowns in this offense. CMC ranked first in red zone touches in 2023. CMC should be able to lead the 49ers backfield and produce another elite season if he is healthy.

The Detroit Lions

Since both Lions running backs finish with ten-plus rushing touchdowns, I put them into their own conversation. The Lions enjoyed a potent run offense last year with both running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. Last year, one of these two running backs had a rushing touchdown in 16 of 17 games. Both players missed games, and the other back would benefit from getting at least one rushing touchdown in that time frame. Gibbs would score eight touchdowns over the final nine games of the season, while Montgomery would score seven.

In the red zone, Montgomery would outcarry Gibbs 50 to 37. Inside the ten-yard line, Montgomery would also outcarry Gibbs 31 to 21. Montgomery would score 11 of his 13 touchdowns in that range. Gibbs would score eight of his ten touchdowns in the red zone. Due to Montgomery being the bigger running back between the two, you’d have to assume that he should continue to see the red zone work. While Gibbs is prime to see a bigger workload in year two, Montgomery should have a better shot at touchdown upside. While both could easily have seven to nine touchdowns, Montgomery has the better chance of repeating that double-digit mark. 

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